Peggy Sweeney

Have you noticed how early Christmas decorations have been hung this year? The Advent season is always such a joyful time, and this year feels even more meaningful, with families and friends being able to gather and celebrate in fellowship once again.

I am especially grateful this holiday season to have joined the remarkable team at the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP) as our new Chief Advancement Officer.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the mission and work of the foundation the past several years through my volunteer involvement on its grants committee, and now that I am a staffer, I’ve been able to see firsthand the dedication of my colleagues (as the new kid on the block, I think I am still allowed to boast!).

We are not a large crew, but I’ve been awed by how much my 23 colleagues accomplish each day in the service of our church, our generous donors and the non-profit beneficiaries of their support.

While I think we can all agree that decorating the tree and opening gifts are cherished hallmarks of Christmas, the real meaning of the season is to give back. To be able to share our blessings is in itself a beautiful gift. As has often been quoted, “The greatest joy of living is the joy that comes from giving.” During Advent, our Catholic community gives so generously to uplift the lives of others.

At CFGP, it is our privilege to work with our donors to maximize the impact of your charitable giving through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). DAFs are such a wonderful way to experience the joy of giving through an investment vehicle that provides you with the ease and flexibility to give to multiple Catholic causes while we manage all of the administrative, investment, audit and distributions of your account.

In the United States, DAFs have become a popular means of charitable giving. During the height of the pandemic, DAF giving increased at historic levels. In 2020, grants from DAFs to qualified charities totaled an estimated $34.67 billion, representing a 27% increase compared to 2019, and the highest amount in a decade. At the same time, the DAF payout rate was one of the highest on record. (Source: National Philanthropic Trust 2021 Donor-Advised Fund Report.)

The trend has continued into 2021. This is not surprising since the vehicle allows donors the freedom to decide where and how often you want to give. It also encourages future generations to engage in and continue your philanthropy as your fund grows tax-free.

As 2021 is coming to a close, CFGP would be delighted to be your partner in giving back and spreading joy this Christmas season. You can open (or grow) your DAF with cash, securities and even cryptocurrency. As soon as you make your contribution, you will receive the maximum tax deduction allowed by the IRS.

Please feel free to reach out to me any time at psweeney@thecfgp.org or call our office at 215-587-5650 if you would like to learn more. It would be so nice to meet you!

I am wishing your family and loved ones a blessed, healthy and merry Christmas.

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Peggy Sweeney is chief advancement officer for the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.